The restaurant itself actually opened six-and-a-half years ago as part of the revamped St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, the landmark Gilbert Scott-designed building dating back to 1865, later saved by John Betjeman from demolition in the 1960s.
As its name suggests, it was once part of the station’s ticket office – easily attested to as you enter its grand, cathedral-like interior, with vaulted ceiling. It’s strange to remember back to the days when it was just an odd, underused facility from which you might occasionally buy a cheap day return to the Midlands. Now it’s a sophisticated late night multi-purpose venue, all red brick walls and arches, panelling and iron buttresses.
The sheer space is reflected in the soaring roof and lengthy bar (which clocks in at thirty metres); and it now combines pricey cocktails with a dining experience that’s a little more relaxed than the hotel’s flagship Marcus Wareing restaurant, The Gilbert Scott, just the other side of the atrium.
We sat in a cutely intimate corner with windows out onto Eurostar beyond. And the food, from head chef Adam Ashe, who joined about a year ago, is effortless. Really.
The scene is set by a starter of meltingly butter-like scallops, with pork belly, beetroot and the crisp, welcome bite of granny smith apple, while a gently fishy lobster and crab tortellini is nudged into heat with chilli oil and tarragon. A blackened bavette, served blood-red inside, is also spot-on. Particularly good? That really garlicky aioli.
But the undisputed star of the show? Slow roast pork, served in rosy tender medallions, on rainbow chard with charred baby artichoke and a sweet-sharp damson sauce. Dazzling: and a heady match for the highly gluggable house rioja.
As the lovely Romanian waitress confides as we leave: “It was my wedding anniversary the other night and it was so good we polished off two bottles.” You might just find yourselves doing the same.